India signs up for USD 200-million loan from World Bank for nutrition mission

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India signs up for USD 200-million loan from World Bank for nutrition mission

New Delhi: India signed an agreement with the World Bank on Monday for a USD 200-million loan for the National Nutrition Mission (POSHAN Abhiyaan) to achieve its goal of reducing stunting in children aged 0-6 years from 38.4 per cent to 25 per cent by 2022.

The loan will support the first phase of scaling up of interventions in 315 districts across all states and union territories, according to an official statement.

POSHAN Abhiyaan was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 8 in Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan.

A large component of POSHAN Abhiyaan involves gradual scaling-up of the interventions supported by the ongoing World Bank-assisted Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Systems Strengthening and Nutrition Improvement Project (ISSNIP) to all districts in the country over a three-year period.

With a focus on improving the coverage and quality of ICDS nutrition services to pregnant and lactating women and children under three years of age, the project will include investments in improving the skills and capacities of ICDS staff and community nutrition workers, and grievance redress and establishing mobile technology based tools for improved monitoring and management of services for better outreach to beneficiaries during the critical 1,000 day window for nutrition impact, the statement said.

The project will additionally ensure convergence of all nutrition-related schemes and provide performance-based incentives to states and community nutrition and health workers, facilitating a focus on results.

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